Is this the future of the compact camera? Sony’s new Cybershot QX100 and QX10 lens-style cameras

Sony has just announced something that is probably revolutionary to the compact camera market, but when you think about it, seems like an obvious step in its evolution. It’s a stabilised zoom lens, that has a 20Mpx sensor, battery, flash card and wireless connectivity built into it. But it doesn’t have a screen. Instead, it connects up wirelessly to your Android or iOS device (NFC or Wi-Fi), to display the image it’s capturing in glorious retina display clarity and colour. For those times when you don’t want to be carrying around two separate devices, it even has a clip that allows it to latch on to your mobile phone, making it feel like a compact digital camera. Brilliant? We think so. Take a look at some pics.

The QX-100 Lens / Camera shoots images with a sensor that is much the same as what Sony uses on their dSLR cameras, so the image quality is bound to be high, with low noise and with effective resolutions touching 20.2 megapixels. At f/1.8, you should also be able to shoot in low light conditions (at ISOs between 160 – 25,600) to get great still photos and 1440x1080p video. There is also optical steadyshot functionality built into this lens for both still and movie modes, and I suspect that anyone using this device hand-held will definitely need it, especially with the QX-10’s 10x optical zoom.

The cameras weigh in at a pretty light 179 and 105 grams each, fully loaded, with battery and memory stick, and should be able to take about 200 pictures before the battery gives out.

The CyberShot QX100 is expected to retail at around $500, and the QX-10 at around $250.

I wonder what people will call these gadgets … CameraLenses? LensCameras? What will you call it? Let us know in the comments. Also, take a look at the specs below:

ModelDSC-QX100DSC-QX10
Image Sensor1.0 type (13.2 x 8.8mm) Exmor R CMOS sensor1/2.3 type (7.76mm) Exmor R CMOS sensor
Effective resolutionApprox.20.2 megapixelsApprox.18.2 megapixels
Image processorBIONZBIONZ
LensCarl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T*, with 7 elements in 6 groups (4 aspheric elements including AA lens)Sony G Lens, with 7 groups (including 4 aspheric elements)
Maximum apertureF1.8(Wide angle)- F4.9 (Tele)F3.3(Wide angle)- F5.9 (Tele)
Focal length (35mm equivalent)(still image 4:3)f=28-100mmf=25-250mm
Optical zoom3.6x10x
ISO Sensitivity (Still Image)ISO160-6400 (iAuto), ISO160-25600 (Superior Auto), ISO160-3200 (Program Auto), ISO160-3200 (Aperture Priority)ISO100-3200 (iAuto), ISO100-12800 (Superior Auto), ISO100-1600 (Program Auto)
Movie recordMP4: 12MP (1440×1080/30fps)MP4: 12MP (1440×1080/30fps)
Image stabilisationOptical SteadyShot™ (with Active Mode for movies)Optical SteadyShot™ (with Active Mode for movies)
Focus typeContrast detection AFContrast detection AF
Focus ModesSingle-shot AF; Manual Focus; Touch AFSingle-shot AF; Touch AF
Shooting modesSuperior Auto, Intelligent Auto, Program Auto, Aperture Priority, Movie ModeSuperior Auto, Intelligent Auto, Program Auto, Movie Mode
Wireless networkingWi-Fi: Send to smartphone / control with smartphoneNFC: One-touch remoteWi-Fi: Send to smartphone / control with smartphoneNFC: One-touch remote
Dimensions (WxHxD)Approx. 62.5 x 62.5 x 55.5 mmApprox. 62.4 x 61.8 x 33.3 mm
Media card compatibilityMemory Stick Micro™ / Memory Stick Micro™ Mark 2 and Micro SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Card (Class 4 or Higher)Memory Stick Micro™ / Memory Stick Micro™ Mark 2 and Micro SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Card (Class 4 or Higher)
Weight (main unit only)Approx. 165 gApprox. 90 g
Weight (with supplied battery and Memory Stick Micro)Approx. 179 gApprox. 105 g
Supplied accessoriesRechargeable Battery Pack NP-BN; micro USB cable; Smartphone Attachment; Wrist Strap; Operating GuideRechargeable Battery Pack NP-BN; micro USB cable; Smartphone Attachment; Wrist Strap; Operating Guide

See the full press release on the Sony Website.